Your time to shine

We just know it – 2015 is your year to sparkle. And there’s never been a better time to shine, since fashion magazines and designers are heralding it as one of the hottest trends for the new year.

While you work on your inner glow, we’ll help you add some exterior shine by showing off some of our favorite sparkly items. Although there are also a lot of metallic options out there, we’re talking about rhinestones, crystals, paillettes, glitter and beading in a spectrum of styles, colors and prices.

When we talked to designer Betsey Johnson before her appearance last month at Belk at SouthPark mall, she told us she’s so in love with sparkle that she has a closet in her Manhattan apartment devoted just to her sparkly clothes. “Sparkle makes me happy,” she said. “And that’s the big secret to dressing. Wear what makes you happy,” she said. “It’s a rock ’n’ roll, theatrical, princessy crowd-pleaser. I love to see it more in the daylight than by moonlight.”

Thanks to all the sparkly options out there, there really is something for everyone.

Charlotte wardrobe stylist Christine Nelson of Simply Sassy Coach ( loves to see women who are confident enough to wear sparkles day or night. “I advise my clients to view their bodies as a canvas and they are the artist,” she said. “Fashion is meant to be fun and what better way to add personality and style than with some sparkles?”

Nelson says sparkle is a huge fashion trend now because it’s easy to wear and anyone can pull it off. All you need is the understanding of what works for your body and how you should wear sparkle to bring out your best. And don’t think of it just as something for the holidays – it has become a year-round staple.

If you’re considering introducing sparkle to your look, Nelson recommends starting with accessories like a clutch or shoes. And know which areas of your body you want to enhance and which areas you want to downplay. “Wherever there’s sparkle on your body, the eye will follow,” she said. “If you carry all of your weight in your midsection, you may want to steer clear of wearing a sparkly top. Instead try a sequined skirt with a top in a matte color.”

Nelson encourages taking chances with fashion, but if you’re unsure of wearing too many sparkly items at once, err on the safe side. “Stick with one killer sparkly piece in your outfit. The last thing you want is to wear pieces that compete with one another.”

Clients frequently ask Nelson if they can really wear the look anywhere. Her answer is “yes,” but make sure it’s appropriate for the event. “If you’re headed to your kids’ school, why not try a sparkly bronze tank under a chambray top with jeans and leopard print ballet flats?”

Work can be more tricky. She advises following the culture of your workplace. Is attire professional, business casual or work casual? Are you meeting a client? “As an employee, you’re an ambassador of your business and you should look the part,” she said.

When wearing anything sparkly to the office, Nelson says proportion and cut are crucial. Opt for a tailored fit, keep the hemline office-appropriate and stick with subdued sparkle.

“Before you head out of your house, do a self-check in the mirror and ask yourself if you look polished, professional and put together. Would you do business with yourself looking like you do?”